Ring of Honor Live Report: Edison, NJ, 4/12/08

This was my first Ring of Honor show since the PPV taping of Take no Prisoners. It seems like it had been a longer break for me, but I guess not. The PPV was certainly a fun show. Could Ring of Honor’s last show in Edison for six months live up? Read on and find out.

No…It couldn’t. I would love to end the review there, but I feel as though I should elaborate on my statement.

Michael Nakazawa defeated Alex “Sugarfoot” Payne in an underwhelming match. Nakazawa did not do his oily gimmick, but his tights are “glorious.” They are the smallest that I have ever seen and laced together along each butt cheek. It seemed out of place when he wasn’t all oiled up…With each sentence this just gets more and more gay. I am going to stop here and say that Nakazawa won after an Angle slam.

Opening Contest: Jack Evans vs. El Generico

This was a great choice for an opener. New Jersey has a long history of really loving Jack Evans and tonight was no different. He got a big pop for his entrance. Generico was also super over with the New Jersey crowd. The match was ok, but did not really click. Both guys went through their usual stuff, but there was nothing to write home about. The main bright spot is that I go to see the top rope BRAINBUSTAAAA live and in person, and it was “glorious.” El Generico obviously took the win after that. Jack looked like he was broken by it.

Winner: El Generico via pinfall; **

After the match Nigel McGuinness came out and jawed some. He then locked the London Dungeon on El Generico. This of course brought out Kevin Steen and sent Nigel running. He said that he was going to be the new and most unconventional champion in Ring of Honor’s history. This was an awesome segment. It built Steen up as more legitimate, put heat on the main event, and was very entertaining. All in all the segment was “glorious.”

Random Match that used to be a three-way with Eddie Edwards: Jigsaw vs. Mitch Franklin

This is one of those times where “card subject to change” happens in a bad way. This match was unremarkable and seemed like the main event on a broadcast of Superstars where two lower card guys who are not superstars, but not fully jobbers wrestle head to head. Mitch Franklin is solid, but still has a long way to go before he carves out his niche as a wrestler on the RoH roster. Jigsaw is really good, but freaking goony looking without the mask on. Jigsaw won the match with the Jig’n’tonic. This match was just kind of there.

Winner: Jigsaw via pinfall, *

Out comes Sweet and Sour incorporated represented by Chris Hero, Bobby Dempsey, Eddie Edwards, a be-crutched Shane Hagadorn, an of course the Sweet and Sour one himself. Chris Hero immediately takes the mike and cuts an incredibly serious promo saying that the antics are done. He blames Bobby Dempsey for his two losses in championship matches and proceeds to beat him, bloody him, and oust him from Sweet and Sour.

This was ok. I like the new direction they seem to be taking Hero in. This would have worked a lot better if Hero were champion and kicked out the fat Dempsey, then the fat Steen could have stuck up for him. As it is, Bobby will get his revenge at some point. Bobby’s ousting put Eddie Edwards into this match. While I wanted to see Hero and Dempsey’s dynamic as a team, I really like Eddie Edwards and was happy for his addition and apparent full time roster spot.

Tag Team Match: Chris Hero and Eddie Edwards vs. Erick Stevens and Pelle Primeau

This was an alright match. Pelle has “Londrick” style shorts now, and Stevens has lost a bit of his mystique sans Mohawk. Edwards just blistered Pelle with chops in this one and Primeau’s chest looked to be almost bleeding. This had the relatively standard dynamic of Pelle
getting whupped on all match, and Stevens coming in for the save. It never really settled into tag formula, which was nice. Stevens and Pelle had pretty good chemistry, but not nearly as good as Eddie Edwards and Chris Hero did. Pelle Primeau has improved a ton since
his brief hiatus. He has ascended beyond a Mikey Whipwreck style gimmick and has proven he can hang to some extent. That being said, he took the fall in the match after a “glorious” roaring elbow by Chris Hero.

Winners: Chris Hero and Eddie Edwards via pinfall; **1/2

Special Challenge Match: Brent Albright vs. Delirious

Man, Albright has really let himself go. He used to have a pretty tight physique despite being a bigger guy. Now, well, he kind of has a gut. That being said… This match was pretty awful. Their effort at Rising Above was solid, but this was not. Something just never clicked in this match. Their moves both seemed to be a little bit off. Albright ends up winning with the crowbar, and Sweeney tells him to break Delirious’ arm. Albright hems and haws, but Daizee Haze comes out to save Delirious. Sweeney tells him to break her arm, Albright leaves. I have to say, I don’t really care about Albright. The John Belushi chants were “glorious” though… “They took the bar. The whole f*cking bar!”

Winner: Brent Albright via submission; *

(nB: Jigsaw/Franklin received one star for being short and inoffensive, the received one star for sucking)

On another note, Ring of Honor has made this mistake a few times, but why book two matches with a stable back to back unless match A is building to match B. It looks kind of odd to see a manager come out with one team or wrestler, go to the back and come out with his next charge. Delirious vs. Albright could have gone on second followed by Jigsaw vs. Franklin and then the Sweet and Sour tag and it would have flowed a little better. Anyways, back to the review.

Non-title No Disqualification Match: Roderick Strong vs. The Necro Butcher

This was your requisite brawl through the crowd. Buy the DVD to see if it is any good match. I am sure the match was fine, and the brawl was heated. As a reviewer, though I cannot make any comment on the match. From the sounds of things they did beat the heck out of each other. Stevens ended up coming out and attacking Strong putting him through a table with the Doctor Bomb. This allowed Necro to cover for the victory. After winning, Necro celebrated with the belt like he had just won it. He hadn’t, though. Necro shouldn’t be the type of guy that is concerned with winning belts. His only concern should be piling bodies to the sky.

Winner: The Necro Butcher via pinfall, Not Rated


Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kota Ibushi

Claudio is one of the best bases for high flyers going today. Kota Ibushi is one of the more impressive high flyers on the Japanese indies. Needless, to say, my hopes were high for this match. Did they deliver? In short, kind of. The action started out very slowly with a feeling out process which was fine. The pace picked up too little too late, though. The spots in the match were very impressive. Kota’s high flying is about as good as I have seen. His double moonsault spot is “glorious.” Claudio was solid in his role. He ended up winning after a Ricola Bomb. The match was very good, if unremarkable.

Winner:Claudio Castagnoli via pinfall; ***

The original diva, Sunny, made her way to the ring next, but before she could say anything Larry Sweeney came out with Sara Del Rey. Sweeney asks Sunny for her help in improving Del Rey’s diva characteristics. Del Rey gets angry at being called a diva and leaves. Sunny decides that she likes the idea of Sweeney and Sunny’s diva school, but leaves without giving him a full answer.

Ring of Honor World Championship Match: Kevin Steen vs. Nigel McGuinnes©

This was the match that I most wanted to see, and on many levels it did not disappoint. Steen was great in his dickish role mocking the jawbreaker lariat at every turn. The insults were “glorious.” Nigel was excellent in his heel role, but I find it ironic that in his early days in RoH he worked the arm to great effect but never had an arm submission to end things. Now that he has an arm submission in his arsenal, his arm work is not nearly as good as it used to be.

Still, this was probably my favorite match of the evening to this point. The two downsides, thoug,h were the fact that other than one application of the sharpshooter, Steen never convinced the audience that he was winning the match. The second was the finish. Nigel won after a sliding pin while grabbing the ropes. It really deflated an already mild crowd. The aftermath more than made up for it though. When El Generico informed his partner of what happened, Steen flipped out. He started trashing the ringside area and said to Cary, “Are you going to let this happen in your company.” It was just awesome and will set up a rematch down the line.

Winner: Nigel McGuinness via pinfall, ***1/4

Steen had to be taken to the back by students, Delirious, El Generico and Claudio Castagnoli. Claudio, stayed ringside though and confronted Nigel, challenging him to a match on May 10th at the Hammerstein Ballroom. I wonder how else they are going to deliver for this show. As good as a Nigel vs. Claudio match could be, I just don’t think it has the cache` to headline what could be the biggest show in Ring of Honor history.

Main Event for the Ring of Honor Tag Team Titles: The No Remorse Corps of Davey Richards and Rocky Romero © vs. Jay and Mark Briscoe

For some reason there was only one tag belt out there with the champs. There may be some storyline for this, but I do not know it. I need to say that I am sick of the Briscoes. None of their stuff excites me anymore. This was actually slower paced than a lot of Briscoe matches. I did not see a lot in the way of storytelling, but Pulse Glazer tells me that Davey and Rocky got the advantage in head to head situations, but the Briscoes proved to be the better team. I guess I missed that part. Like most Briscoe matches this was very heavy on spots. The finish came after finally hitting the springboard doomsday device on Romero for the threecount. I really did not care about this title switch…at all. Davey and Rocky should never have had the titles to begin with, but that is a topic for another time. The Briscoes celebrated with Jay and Mark-weisers afterwards. I made my way toward the exit.

Winners and new champions: Jay and Mark Briscoe; ***

Final Thoughts: This was far from the best Ring of Honor show I have ever been to, and I have been to my fair share. I would honestly have to say that this was on the lower end of things, if not the worst show I have ever attended. Nothing was insult my intelligence bad the way TNA and WWE can, but this was just a nothing show. I say that, and there was a title change giving the Briscoes an unprecedented fifth run with the belts.

Nothing on the show stood out. Nothing clicked. It was a wholly unmemorable experience. Ring of Honor usually approaches glory with every show they produce. This show, however, was far from “glorious.”

I’ll see you next time…


Join our newsletter

never miss the latest news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary for Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games!